With all problems with this kind of tests in mind that I have written about earlier on eLearningworld the PISA Student Assessment still give some indication of the conditions in school. To summarise the three points below they all can be traced back to failured policies of the Ministry of Education during the recent years.
1.Increasing amount of administration for the teachers with stress and less education-time as a result
The Minister of Education’s answer: There are more teachers in classroom today according to recent research. Yes, but they work with administration of a flood of standardised tests and other paperwork that has been initiated by the Ministry of Education. At the same time as the number of teachers has been decreased dramatically because of smaller amount of pupils.
2.Use of technology as a pedagogical tool is far behind comparable countries
The Minister of Educations answer: It is fun to surf with my iPad, really that is what he is saying, while cognitive science, neuroscience, pedagogical science agrees that the use of computer-based pedagogical tools will improve learning and understanding dramatically.
3.Pedagogical directives from the Minister of Education to focus on fact-based knowledge
Traditional pedagogy with the teaching-by-telling-method is the Minister of Education’s medicine for improved results in school. Perhaps it is here his military background to the most extent shine through when he commands Sweden’s professional teacher staff to work according to a certain pedagogical method. In addition this principle’s result leads to one-size-fits-all education. Professional teachers’ need autonomy to be able to do a great work, in the same way as pupils’ needs autonomy to be able to learn and perform well. Moreover, the main focus of education should be directed on understanding.
At the moment I am doing research by comparing educational policy, performance and structure of different European school-systems, the result will be published on eLearningworld during the coming weeks.